Grant Types & Eligibility
A vibrant economic future for Cincinnati requires an entrepreneurial ecosystem that removes barriers to starting and growing a business. Main Street Ventures is building this ecosystem with our innovative Grant Programs focused on supporting entrepreneurs who will make an impact on our local economy. If you think one applies to what you're working on, send us an application!
New in 2021 is the addition of the Launch Grant! This Grant has been developed specifically to support early-stage startups and entrepreneurs to ensure good ideas can and will survive in our region.
For each of our grant programs, special consideration has always and will continue to be given to tech-enabled companies, Women and Minority-Owned businesses and businesses showing matching funds from other sources.
Ecosystem Building Grants
Support for organizations and events that strengthen and connect the region's entrepreneurial ecosystem. These can include entrepreneur support organizations and other groups that foster resource collaboration and development of STEM talent.
Check out our Impact page for examples of previous Ecosystem Grant recipients.
Launch Funding Grants
Leap Funding Grants
Our Leap Grant program provides promising businesses at the Revenue stage (meaning they are generating revenue from their non-prototype product) with $10,000 - $30,000 grants to scale their community impact and increase the odds of survival.
Grants are awarded to businesses that demonstrate the potential to continue to create jobs and opportunities in the region.
Policies & Restrictions
Programs to be funded MUST be located in the Greater Cincinnati region (Hamilton, Butler, Clermont and Warren counties in Ohio; Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in Kentucky; and Dearborn County in Indiana.). Grant requests from other regions will NOT be considered.
Main Street Ventures wants to support the survival of good ideas and founders within our region.
Our Launch Grant program provides for-profit businesses at either the Prototype or Product stage (meaning there is clear evidence of direct customer engagement in validating the business model and product) with $5,000 - $10,000 grants to increase the odds of reaching the Market Entry stage and beyond.
Which Grant Should I Apply For?
We are happy to guide you through the application process and help you determine which of our grants is most applicable to your business via our Office Hours which are available on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons until the Application period closes.
Our general guideline, however, is to assess your business stage in terms of revenue. If your business is pre-revenue, you should consider applying for the Launch Grant. If your business has generated sufficient revenue relative to your industry, you should likely apply for the Leap Grant.
When will I receive a response in regard to my Grant Application?
Grants are reviewed on a quarterly basis. Review the timeline provided above. Please do not contact us for updates if within that timeframe.
Why was my Grant Application declined?
While we try to give specific feedback to as many applications as possible, sometimes we are unable to provide a detailed reply. Please read all of the criteria, an application that has been declined usually fails to meet some of the required aspects.
My Grant Application was declined, when can I apply again?
We will consider new applications from the same company, organization, or event after a period of one-year.
Who decides grant award recipients?
The Main Street Ventures Board of Directors approves the grant award recipients each quarter.
In this climate of economic uncertainty, consideration will be given to those applicants for all grants who have leveraged all other funding opportunities (SBA, etc.) and have a strong plan and balance sheet to properly leverage Leap Grant funding.
Find Funding Resources at:
Small Business Administration: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship: The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act